As students get settled into their daily lives at Boston University, sometimes they might forget that there are in fact places to hang out besides the George Sherman Union, the BU beach and the third floor of Mugar Memorial Library. So here are a few things you must do during your time at BU.
DO: LEARN HOW TO READ THE T MAP
Known for its nine stops throughout BU, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority can be a student’s best friend or worst enemy — depending on timing. Returning students recommended figuring out the T before stepping onto the bustling platform.
“Public transportation is very important — when you go to school with 30,000 other students having a car is very rare,” said College of Communication sophomore Jason Celaru in an email interview. “It is hard to find parking spots and even if you can, it is not very cost effective because Boston has a very efficient transportation system.
“The T runs right through Boston, and you can easily get to Logan airport, South Station or any corner of the city by using this cheap and easy transportation.”
Kenmore Square is a heavily populated T stop because the A, B, C and D Lines run through it. Students who live in or near Kenmore Square can take any line from the city into this station.
“Getting on the B Line in Kenmore Square is probably the best thing to do,” said School of Education junior Lauren Effune in an email interview. “The trains come so much more often and it’s in the middle of one of the most popular areas on campus.”
The MBTA offers some solutions to making transit quick and painless.
“Get a CharlieCard — A CharlieCard makes boarding MBTA buses or trains as simple as tap and go,” said Joshua Robin, the MBTA’s director of innovation and special projects.
Returning students also warn to be wary of the shaky trains.
“For the Green Line, be sure to hold onto something,” said COM sophomore Mike McDonald in an email interview. “I’ve seen more than a few people think they’re too cool to hold onto anything and hit the ground. It may have happened to me once or twice.”
DO: ATTEND CITY AND COLLEGE SPORTING EVENTS
Fenway Park is down the street from campus — no need to worry about parking!
“I’ve grown up right outside of Boston all my life. My entire family grew up in Charlestown,” McDonald said. “I’m most familiar with the Kenmore area. I’ve been to more Red Sox games than I can count, I have met players and I have been on the field. On days with games, you’ll barely be able to get on the T.”
As for BU’s hockey team, the Agganis Arena is on the same street as campus. Students can walk, take the bus or ride the T to games.
“I definitely recommend going to hockey games, especially the first one. If you got a sports pass, it’s such a great value and one of the best showcases of school spirit,” Effune said. “Even if you’ve never seen a hockey game, you’ll pick up the cheers and dislike for BC faster than you think.”
Ask any student — BU’s hockey team is a favorite.
“BU is very big on school spirit. We have a strong hockey team that students come to watch all year long. Some students even come in full body paint,” Celaru said. “It’s something that you can bond over with other Terrier fans. I haven’t been to a single game where I wasn’t at one point or another on the edge of my seat.”
DO: CHECK OUT NATURE SPOTS
Many students recommend going in new directions to evade the tall downtown Boston buildings and see more of the city’s natural beauty.
“College in Boston is definitely an experience like no other. Unlike New York City, Boston moves a little slower without losing that city-life feel,” Celaru said. “Take Boston in your own hands and capture its beauty. Go to a Sox’s game, go to a movie in the Commons, or just go on the T, jump off at a random stop and explore. Some of the best memories I’ve had in Boston were spontaneous and random.”
“I recommend getting yourself off campus,” Effune said. “Boston is such a vibrant city with so much to offer. You can go for a walk on Newbury St., take in the sights for free at the MFA, or go for a walk in the Boston Commons or on the Esplanade.”
DO: VISIT OTHER COLLEGES
As easy as it is to stay in the BU “bubble,” students often take advantage of the plethora of colleges in Boston.
“The best part about Boston has to be the colleges,” McDonald said. “It’s surprising how many colleges there are in the immediate area.”
“You go to the Commons and there’s Suffolk and Emerson … down toward Commonwealth Avenue, there is Boston College and then of course Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and many more. Not only are there tons of choices where to go to school in Boston, but it really makes Boston a fun, college city.”
Many colleges grant students from other universities access to their libraries.
“My favorite part of Boston is that it is such a college city,” Celaru said. “It is inhabited mainly by college-aged people, so making new friends, even at different colleges is always very easy. Just be careful. If you visit BC and they figure out that you’re a Terrier, you will be judged until the second you leave, but there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy college rivalry.”
Despite the college rivalry, a number of students in Boston will agree on rooting for the Red Sox and the Bruins.
“As for college hopping, the 40-plus schools in the area are part of the reason I chose to attend BU,” said College of Arts and Science freshman Jake Saitman in an email interview. “It’s such a diverse college city, and I can’t wait to meet people from other schools as well as mine. I have quite a few friends from home coming up to school in Boston as well, and I plan on seeing them a few times.”
Other colleges that are slightly beyond of Boston but can be easily visited are Harvard University, Tufts University and Brandeis University.